ASEAN Investment Report 2019

FDI in Services: Focus on Health Care

The ASEAN Investment Report is an annual report analysing investment and related issues in the region. It is prepared under a technical cooperation arrangement between the ASEAN Secretariat and UNCTAD.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows into ASEAN increased for the third consecutive year in 2018, reaching an all-time high level of US$ 155 billion. The region’s share of global FDI inflows also rose to 11.5 per cent in 2018. This trend is expected to continue, taking into account the dynamic industrial developments and improvement of investment and business environment in the region.

Services sector is the largest recipient of FDI in ASEAN. The share of services sector in total FDI grew from 50 per cent in 1999–2003 to 66 per cent in 2014–2018, in line with global average. A significant part of FDI in services flows into financial services, wholesale and retail, and real estate activities.

This year’s ASEAN Investment Report features the FDI in the services sector, with a special focus on health care. The Report looks into foreign investments and the Multi-National Enterprises (MNEs) in the healthcare industry in ASEAN, as well as the investment environment they thrive in. ASEAN is doing much to strengthen regional health care provision. Work on improving market opening and investment regime in health care is progressing, along with the implementation of other related sectoral agreements and strategic action plans.

It is worth noting that the demand for health care services in ASEAN and the corresponding need for investment in this sector are expected to increase rapidly in the coming years. This demand is driven by population growth, changing demographics, universal health care programmes and rise in the incidence of non-communicable diseases. Therefore, policies to support the development of private health care are necessary to complement public health care spending in order to keep up with the demand.

The Report provides recommendations in moving forward to develop a competitive health care environment in the region. We hope that policy makers and stakeholders in the industry will find the Report useful.


Dato Lim Jock Hoi
Secretary-General of ASEAN
ASEAN Investment Report 2019 - FDI in Services: Focus on Health Care  (UNCTAD/ASEAN/AIR2019)
31 Oct 2019